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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Multnomah County breaks state election law

And Sir Isaac calls them out on it.

Comments (18)

Well, that about sums it up around here, doesn't it? When local government wants to break the law, no problem! The local government just changes the law to suit itself!

Anyone getting this on film?

In New Jersey, that's how we elect U.S. Senators.

The awful truth is, for a lot of people, when they hear about this kind of stuff it only helps to reinforce the notion that our democracy is a farce, so why bother voting? Which of course is the cue for radicals to step up and cast their ballot, win elections, and declare "the people have spoken".

In my opinion, we the citizens have taken liberty and freedom for granted. It has been impressed upon us to vote, however, more than that is needed now. A vote may have meant sending a person to office to work on behalf of the constituents. Times have changed when leaders no longer are taking care of even those liberties and freedom that so many have fought and/or died for.

We need to be more engaged, know that we are at crossroads and will lose much more if we do not take on responsibility. Responsibility to at least follow through on candidates and what they say they will do and then do once in office regarding our interests. We need to get educated and not rely on mainstream media which is mostly corporate owned now.

Cousin Jim -

In Oregon, that's how we just elected a retread governor.

You folks remember the odd phenomenon of the increasing number of uncounted ballots in both thre gubernatorial and Metro President races in Mult Co in the four or five days after the election?


I don't know the purpose of the government, but these days it seems to exist to make the rich richer and to make the poor pay for it

Alarming, the corporatist overlay on government and ultimately on our lives.

What is the reason Kate Brown wants the law changed? Why would there be any need in an honest election to retain blank ballots? Is this too much to ask? Is it too hard to abide by the election law for the very people sworn to protect the election? Why is this not a scandal?

I'm still wondering why their is no record in the Oregon State database of political contributions I made.

That's nothing. Voters of Oregon Electric Co-operatives which are state sanctioned monopoly power companies do not have the right to free and fair elections.

Us voters cannot "throw the bums out" even if we wanted to. Our state representative John Huffman R-The Dalles is against free and fair elections for Electric Co-operative voters because he gets money from this utility.

We have the best politicians money can buy! For more information see http://www.reformwascoelectric.com


You've posted that here about 100 times. Maybe that's enough.

Just an FYI I spoke with Tim Scott Director of Elections for Multnomah County and here was what he had to say:

1/24/2011 – This morning at approximately 9:30 a.m. I spoke with Tim Scott, Director of Elections for Multnomah County and he indicated that this situation is not unique to Multnomah County but instead all counties keep unused ballots for internal purposes as required by other statutes.

Mr. Scott indicated that the unused ballots are kept in a secure underground county facility for two years and then are destroyed. He also indicates that retention is necessary in order to have a backup ballot incase an original ballot is not readable by their machine at which point a special bi-partisan board will “duplicate” the original ballot onto an unused ballot so that the vote can be counted.


Jack: So you don't have a problem with the fact that we cannot (do not have the right to) elect (in a free and fair impartial election) those who spend our money, sue us and take our property?

The above is a good description of tyranny and I'll post it 1000 times if it results in the end of tyranny.

Look at it this way: What if some politician you despised was placed in power over YOU (and took your money and property) without a free and fair election...Meaning that you and other dissatisfied voters could not vote this person out of office even if you wanted to?

Maybe then you would understand the problems with tyranny as you don't seem to at this time.

Multnomah County may have a worthy purpose for keeping spare ballots around, which doesn't change the fact that state law prohibits the county from keeping the ballots. (And Jack, thanks for the shout-out!)

Isacc: According to Tim Scott, Director of Elections for Multnomah County he indicated that the law in reference is moot since other Oregon law requires them to retain unused ballots.

Benjamin, maybe so, but my quick scan through Oregon's election laws didn't turn up any provision that requires the county to retain unused ballots after 8:00 p.m. on election day.

Benjamin, have Tim Scott cite the law that he claims is contrary to the election laws. Simple.

Isaac: ORS 254.535(c)

Thanks. There isn't a 254.535(c), but there is an ORS 254.535 with subsections (1), (2), and (3). Here it is:

254.535 Preservation of certain materials; retention of records. (1) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, each tally sheet, return sheet and ballot return identification envelope shall be preserved for two years after the election to which it relates.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the county clerk shall destroy the ballots and written challenge statements not sooner than the 90th day after the final day permitted for a contest of the election, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

(3) In accordance with 42 U.S.C. 1974, any ballot, voter registration records and any other materials relating to any election at which a candidate is nominated or elected to federal office shall be retained for not less than 22 months following the date of the election. [1979 c.190 §275; 1999 c.410 §62; 2007 c.154 §48]

I won't quote the entire context of 42 USC 1974, but it's part of the Voting Rights Act of 1971. It requires elections officers to preserve registration and related records of voters, and the marked ballots, but doesn't require them to preserve unused ballots.

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